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Full Name: Graham Joseph Campbell
Rank Last Held: Sergeant
Forename(s): Graham Joseph
Surname: Campbell
  • Regular Military Service
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Serial No.: 41240
  • Ngaruahine
  • Nga Puhi
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 12 April 1941
Place of Birth: Taheke, Hokianga, New Zealand
Religion: Anglican
First Known Rank: Gunner
Occupation before Enlistment: Salesman
Next of Kin: Mrs Ellen Campbell (wife), Arimu Road, Papakura, New Zealand
Marital Status: Married, with children
Enlistment Address: 7 Rainvile Road, Remuera, Auckland, New Zealand
Physical Description:
  • Height: 5 foot 10 inches
  • Eyes: green
  • Hair: black
Enlistment Date: 23 July 1964
Age on Enlistment: 23
Body on Embarkation:
  • V-Force
  • V-Force
Embarkation Unit:
  • 1 Ranger Squadron, New Zealand Special Air Service
  • 4 Troop, New Zealand Special Air Service
Embarkation Date:
  • August 1965
  • 11 November 1969
Place of Embarkation:
  • New Zealand
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • Unknown vessel
  • Aeroplane (RNZAF C130 Hercules)
  • South East Asia
  • South East Asia
Other Units:
  • 1 Ranger Squadron, NZSAS 12 April 1965-
  • 161 Battery, 16th Field Regiment, RNZA
  • 2nd Detachment, NZSAS, Borneo 26 August 1965 - 22 February 1966
  • 2nd Detachment, 4 Troop, NZSAS, Vietnam 11 November 1969 -
  • Borneo
  • Vietnam
Military Awards:
  • General Service Medal
  • Vietnam Medal
  • New Zealand General Service Medal (NZGSM) and Vietnam Clasp
  • New Zealand Defence Service Medal
  • Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal (PJM)
  • South Vietnam Campaign Medal
Wounds and Diseases: Mortally wounded, gunshot wound to head, Binh Tuy Province, South Vietnam
Last Unit Served: New Zealand Army, Special Air Service, 4 Troop
Place of Death: 1 Australian Field Hospital, Vung Tau, South Vietnam
Date of Death: 14 January 1970
Age at Death: 28
Year of Death: 1970
Cause of Death: Died of gunshot wound to head
Cemetery Name: Wairoa Cemetery, Fraser Road, Wairoa, New Zealand
Grave Reference: Soldiers plot
Memorial Name: Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories
Biographical Notes:
  • Son of Thomas Campbell, born Opunake, Taranaki and Anna-Maria Campbell (nee Cope) born Taheke, Hokianga. Graham was born at Taheke, but later moved to Taihape where his father Thomas was involved in the sharing industry.
  • Graham was educated at St Stephen's School, Bombay, South Auckland (where he became Head Prefect), Otahuhu College and Auckland University, where he studied Business Management and Accountancy.
  • Family write he was a natural athlete and excelled at all sports. He was selected to represent the New Zealand Army in rugby in 1967 and 1968. He was selected to represent Counties Maori Rugby 1967 and 1968.
  • Graham married Ellen Smith in 1964 and they had three children: Anna-Marie born 17 February 1963, James Roger born 23 November 1964, and Jacqueline Patricia born 6 February 1967.
  • Posted 16 Field Regiment, RNZ Artillery, Papakura Military Camp
  • Participated from 29 October 1964 - with the 150 man contingent to United Kingdom in the exercise Powder Horn. These troops were the first overseas troops to mount a guard at Buckingham Palace.
  • Passed selection course for NZSAS 24 March 1965.
  • Posted 12 April 1965 to 1 Ranger Squadron, NZSAS.
  • Promoted 6 July 1965 to Lance Corporal.
  • Deployed to Active Service, 26 August 1965, Borneo.
  • Promoted 6 January 1966 to Corporal.
  • Detachment returned to New Zealand; 22 February 1966, posted to 1 Ranger Squadron, NZSAS.
  • Promoted 14 February 1969 to Sergeant.
  • Posted to Active Service, Vietnam as Patrol Commander with 2nd Detachment, 4 Troop, NZSAS, Vietnam 11 November 1969
  • On 11 November 1969 he was deployed with the advance party of the 2 Detachment advance party to Phuoc Tuy Province in South Vietnam as a Patrol Commander in 4 Troop NZSAS.
  • On 14 January 1970, whilst leading an operational patrol, Graham Campbell was shot by a burst of fire from a Vietcong light machine gun when checking a track. He was carried from the scene by his patrol and evacuated by a 9 Squadron RAAF helicopter to 1 Field Hospital in Vung Tau, where he was declared dead. The Pilot who flew the helicopter extraction of Graham's last patrol was Flight Lieutenant Peter Bradford, RAAF.
  • Note: The preceding notes are all from a short biography supplied by Terry Culley and Graham's widow, Ellen Culley in 2014.
  • He was laid to rest with full military honours in Wairoa 6 February 1970.
  • Memorial Flag was presented to family in Australia in October 1987
Description of Image:
  • Portrait
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories. Vietnam Panels names: Vietnam Names Awatere - Don
  • Hall of Memories WW2, Auckland War Memorial Museum, looking East (taken in April 1999).
Further References:
Sources Used:
  • Unpublished papers: family papers
  • Subritsky, M. (Compiler). (1995). The Vietnam scrapbook: "The second ANZAC adventure". Papakura, Three Feathers Publishing Co.
  • Cenotaph data entry form
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